In September 2018 Coles launched its own brand of free range RSPCA Approved chicken in New South Wales and Victoria. Now this line has expanded to three more Australian states (Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania), and has more than doubled in total supply.
Being the first major supermarket in Australia to offer their customers RSPCA Approved chicken products nationally, Coles’ commitment to raising meat chickens to RSPCA standards has improved welfare for hundreds of millions of meat chickens now farmed in enriched barn environments.
Whilst the RSPCA believes you can have good welfare in a well-managed indoor environment, the Approved Farming Scheme standards do also stipulate conditions for producers wishing to provide outdoor access for their animals. Meaning that free range RSPCA Approved products have to be reared to the RSPCA’s indoor and outdoor standards.
Improving conditions for meat chickens indoors is an important aspect of providing a good quality of life. Even free range chickens spend the first three weeks of their lives (until they are fully feathered) indoors, and will be kept inside overnight to protect them from predators. So providing a comfortable environment that allows them to express their natural behaviours indoors is vital.
When chickens have enough adult feathers they are able to safely venture outside during the daytime. Having access to a quality range, with shade to help birds feel safe means the birds can spend their time exploring and foraging. Doing just what chickens like to do.
Coles knows that animal welfare is important to its customers and is committed to offering a range of higher welfare options so their customers have a choice when it comes to what goes into their trolley. By working with the RSPCA Approved farming scheme and their suppliers, Coles knows that all their fresh own brand chicken have good welfare both when indoors and outside.
Great news for Coles’ customers as they can be confident that the products they buy with the RSPCA Approved logo on pack, have been sourced from a farm where animal welfare is prioritised.